Saturday, December 22, 2012

Back from the Lens Doctor: EF 24-105 L

A while back, while photographing the Republic Steel East Thomas Plant and Wade Sand and Gravel in Birmingham, I had the misfortune of dropping my Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L lens from about should height and it landing lens first in the hard-pack road; actually, it wasn't even "dropping" it so much as it was the quick release plate disengaging from the tripod while it was slung over my shoulder and allowing gravity to do her worst. She did.

I began to notice in subsequent outings that the photos taken with the lens just weren't sharp. And the problem didn't improve regardless of focal length, aperture, or use of Image Stabilization. But in the words of the immortal GI Joe, "Knowing is only half the battle." The real issue was, what was I going to do about it. After a couple months of deliberation, I sent the lens off to Canon's repair center in Virginia. And they sent me quite the estimate; they could repair it for about a third of what I paid for it, which was not insubstantial. So rather than having an uber-expensive paperweight I ponied up the rubles. 

Upon the lens' return about 10 days later, I discovered, and I'm pretty certain about this, the lens now takes sharper photographs than when I first purchased it (used). And I learned a couple of valuable lessons through this experience:
  • Buying used is not always the best alternative, even when you save several hundred dollars up front. If I had purchased the lens new, it would have still been under warranty when I dropped it and the repairs would have been covered by Canon; thus I came out about even in this thing.
  • Don't rely on the quick release plate to stay mounted to the tripod. Take that extra couple of seconds to sling that camera over your shoulder or use the wrist strap.
  • Canon's repair service has a really quick turnaround time, but I hope not to use again in the near future.
The subject of my first test shots was the closest cuddly thing at hand.

Darby wants to play ball. I want to test out my newly repaired lens.

No comments:

Post a Comment